(NaturalNews) Hosting a party is about relaxing with friends. The last thing a host wants is to spend long, grueling hours preparing fiddly party snacks. With a little advance preparation, cheese trays and dips can quickly be produced, allowing the guests and the host to have fun. Keep it simple - try these healthy party food recipes which will impress guests but take the minimum of effort and time to prepare.
Simple, Basic Hummus Recipe
Homemade hummus makes a great dip that is tasty and a good party finger food choice. A hummus dip can be made a few days in advance and stored in glass jars in the fridge. More or less lemon juice or garlic can be added, to taste. The main ingredient, chickpeas, is a good source of protein and folate so guests will be snacking on a healthy treat which will keep blood sugar levels stable.
200g (7oz) jar of chickpeas (dried chickpeas can be used if soaked overnight) 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 crushed garlic cloves 1 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste) 4 tbsp water 2 tbsp olive oil Pinch of cayenne pepper
1. Drain the chickpeas and rinse. 2. In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, tahini and water. Blend until smooth. Add more lemon juice if desired. 3. Spoon into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. 4. Heap raw carrot sticks, chunky cucumber slices, celery and triangles of health bread toast in neat piles around the bowl for dipping.
Try adding grated Parmesan cheese or spring onions and dried chili to the basic hummus recipe for something a little different.
Fresh Figs With Goat Cheese Recipe
This will make for a delightful addition to a cheese tray at a party. Fresh figs contain good levels of potassium, calcium and magnesium and have other health benefits too, such as balancing the pH of the body. Choose organically grown figs that are plump and tender but not mushy.
A dozen or so fresh figs, washed and halved, stems removed 350g (12 oz) soft goat cheese 1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
1. In a small bowl, mix the goat cheese and walnuts. 2. Press a teaspoonful of the cheese and nut mixture into each fig half. 3. Serve as is, or heat in an oven until the goat cheese is lightly browned.
Best Ever Guacamole
Find ripe, organically grown avocados and source raw, organic products for the other ingredients as well. In this way, guests will be getting a festive party food snack and will be benefiting from a boost to their health as well. Cilantro is an herb commonly found in Mexican dishes and salsas, and is sometimes referred to as Mexican parsley. Guacamole is a dish that is best served freshly made, since it does not keep for long, even if it is refrigerated.
2 ripe, organic avocados, peeled and pitted 1 organic lime, juiced 1/4 cup finely chopped, organic red onion 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper Salt and pepper to taste.
Place the avocados and lime in a medium bowl, and lightly mash with a fork. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 3 hours.
Dips and spreads are relatively easy to make and do not have to be expensive. Get creative with dippers! Try health bread sticks, chunks of fresh bread, homemade crackers, and a wide selection of sliced, raw, organically grown vegetables. Garnish platters with fresh herbs such as parsley and basil. Dips can generally be served hot, cold or at room temperature.
Fleur Hupston is a professional freelance writer. She is passionate about natural, healthy living and is currently studying to be a naturopath. She divides her time between writing for Natural News and various other sites, home schooling her children and studying part time.